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ChristopherMills

Green Tea & Green Tea Extract

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I served a mission in Japan and green tea is HUGE over there. It is culturally infused in ceremony and everyday life (candy, drinks, etc) and it is also specifically prohibited. They have to give it up in order to obey the Word of Wisdom and get baptized. In the WoW discussion we have introduce the "prohibition" on green tea, and it was a deal breaker for many potential members/investigators.

Green tea = not allowed.

But then again, members in Japan do not drink Coke or Pepsi either, and we as missionaries were told to abstain from those and all caffeine containing soft drinks for the duration of our missions there.

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But then again, members in Japan do not drink Coke or Pepsi either, and we as missionaries were told to abstain from those and all caffeine containing soft drinks for the duration of our missions there.

We weren't. Though the Mission President expressed he'd prefer us to not partake of energy drinks (but he didn't make it a WoW thing). I'm finding more and more that mission rules vary quite a bit.

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We weren't. Though the Mission President expressed he'd prefer us to not partake of energy drinks (but he didn't make it a WoW thing). I'm finding more and more that mission rules vary quite a bit.

Interesting. Where when did you serve?

One more:

Was green tea a "no-no" too when you were there?

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Interesting. Where when did you serve?

One more:

Was green tea a "no-no" too when you were there?

Spokane, 2006-2008. The white handbook certainly doesn't (or for my time serving didn't) say anything, so partaking of caffeine or not is a Mission President's discretion thing. He was quick to stress that caffeine is not directly addressed by the Word of Wisdom even if abstaining may be in keeping with the principles thereof. So in a sense we were forbidden from teaching that the Word of Wisdom adherence (for baptism) requires abstaining from caffeine. Green tea was never addressed by the Mission President, but I always assumed so. Of course my take on it was that tea meant the Camellia sinensis plant, as infusions with other plants are acceptable (aka herbal tea).

Preach My gospel does mention, "Your mission president will answer questions about whether other specific substances in your culture are included in the Word of Wisdom" Though that's probably talking about substances that are cultural specific enough that they've not otherwise been commented on by the Brothern, or if members and missionaries are unsure about something.

Edited by Dravin

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Gotcha. Japan was... different. Very different from Washington for sure. Culturally worlds - no - galaxies apart.

And as for "Your mission president will answer questions about whether other specific substances in your culture are included in the Word of Wisdom"; in Japan Caffeine containing drinks and green tea were on the list. I've even heard from others that in the Scandinavian countries hot chocolate is forbidden. After all it is a "hot drink".

But then again, my wife rides me for drinking "Monster" and "Red Bull", but it doesn't bother me at all. Yet even cold green tea, or green tea extract bothers my conscience for some reason.

Japan mission left-overs perhaps?

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In my opinion too many LDS members are simply looking for an excuse to get a caffeine fix. If you think about the issue then you will realize that the Lord was trying to keep people from having caffeine in their diet. My opinion is if you want to drink it then drink it. If you don't then don't. You will find the answer you want to see (whichever way you lean) here on this site.

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I don't see caffeine as the problem... caffeine is in chocolate, hot chocolate, no doze, etc.... the actual problem is the fermented tanins in 'black tea' is not good for you. caffeine is also prescribed by doctors and added to medications that help people and does not cause disease states. Most Mormons eat these that contain caffeine with no concern. This is not true of fermented black tea, which was used to embalm people in ancient Egypt.

We cannot know why, we should just follow the prophet and don't drink "tea" and to me, black tea is what they are talking about - the tea of those days. No one would have ever thought of a peppermint leaf as a problem... then or now. We know black tea is not healthy, peppermint, chamomile, and other herbal teas are.

God gave us brains to decide these things... we must each follow the Prophet... with our brains in tact.

Edited by bnaur

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Again, it is just my opinion but caffeine is addictive to most people. The word of wisdom keeps us from losing control of our bodies. That is my take on it. I personally don't drink caffeine unless I really need it so that when I do take it into my body it WORKS. sometimes too well. LOL

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I guess it is... so is food for a lot of people, but we all must eat at the risk of the addiction. Moderation is a key of life and applies to all aspects. I have never had that problem with caffeine.... I can drink caffeine and go right to sleep, I don't get headaches from it and I do go without it for weeks (even in chocolate and other acceptable sources). I know a lot of Mormons that drink energy drinks and it is loaded with caffeine. Yet I have never heard any Mormon condemn that. Even our Bishop said it is not condemned, but he added.... use your brain and don't drink it, but its not going to keep your from a temple recommend. He too was more concerned about calories and other chemicals in energy drinks, not the caffeine.

"The danger in coffee is not caffeine, but oxalic acid in food is considered harmful because it can combine with calcium and may leach the body of this important mineral. For some reason everyone knows of the oxalic acid in spinach, but is not aware of the oxalic acid content in many other commonly eaten foods such as grains, beans, and especially coffee and tea. While spinach is loaded with calcium which minimizes the loss of this mineral from your body, coffee has none. I would be more concerned about the oxalic acid content in coffee..."

The Health Benefits of Caffeine | Men's Health

MYTHS and FACTS about Caffeine

Edited by bnaur

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Guest Sachi001

In my opinion too many LDS members are simply looking for an excuse to get a caffeine fix. If you think about the issue then you will realize that the Lord was trying to keep people from having caffeine in their diet. My opinion is if you want to drink it then drink it. If you don't then don't. You will find the answer you want to see (whichever way you lean) here on this site.

Actually caffiene makes me very sleepy, so I use such like pepsi to help me sleep.

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As far as tannins go, those are also on fruit skins, so if you eat fruit with the skin such as grapes, you're eating tannins. My guess is that it's only about testing one's faith through obedience, since if you truly believe tea and coffee are forbidden, you will avoid those at all cost.

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Can you provide a source for your statements? What harm does temperature in drinks cause? What scientific information can you provide?

M.

We have a family story of a relative (a long time ago) who enjoyed drinking scalding hot water, near boiling. Nothing in it, just water. Because of the habit, the skin of the roof of her mouth started to peel off. It always made me think there is something to avoiding super hot temperatures, (and maybe even super cold ones too?)

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On 5/22/2009 at 5:23 PM, ChristopherMills said:

I am really interested in getting some feedback on this. This thread is inspired from the recent popularity of Green Tea and its health benefits that are advertised.

From what I understand, "hot drinks" in Doctrine and Covenants 89:9 has been interpreted specifically to be coffee and tea. I have heard and read from other LDS members that believed that "tea" refers to "Black Tea" simply because the "hot drinks" of Joseph Smiths day were in fact coffee and Black Tea. Herbal teas have been deemed permissible. I have spoken to a few LDS who were under the assumption that Green Tea is classified as an herbal tea and that drinking it does not violate the Word of Wisdom. 

A fact that some may not be aware of is that Green Tea is produced from the Camellia Sinensis, which is the same plant that Black Tea is produced from. White Tea and Oolong Tea are also products of this plant. The difference from one Camellia Sinensis tea to another is dependant upon how the leaves are processed. Although each come from the same plant, they are not the same product.

My question is this: Should we avoid Camellia Sinensis altogether or only the Black Tea that is produced from it? I am not aware of any statement from a General Authority on this issue. I am curious if anyone else could shed some light on this.

Another topic in question is Green Tea Extract. I have done a limited amount of research on this product. As I understand it, there are various methods of obtaining the extract. Would certain extracts be a permissible way of consuming the antioxidants, vitamins and obtaining other health benefits associated with Green Tea (some use it as a weight loss supplement)?

On a BYU website, the Word of Wisdom is defined as follows:

word of wisdom - a name given to Joseph Smith’s revelation on health, contained in D & C 89. Past and present prophets of the church have clearly stated that the following are proscribed by this revelation: alcohol, tobacco, coffee, black tea, and illegal drugs. Following the word of wisdom is a requirement for obtaining a temple recommend as well as for being baptized.

source: Glossary

A few other of many sources defining "tea" as "Black Tea":

Teas | Times & Seasons, An Onymous Mormon Blog

LDS FAQ: Fulfilled Prophecies of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet

JENNIFER

DIANE

Mormon Family

The Freelance Observer: Breaking Rules or Breaking Babies: LDS vs. FLDS Mormon Church

As of yet, I have not read any official statement from a prophet defining "tea" as "Black Tea" but it is obvious that many members have interpreted it to be so under the fact that "Black Tea" was the tea of Joseph Smith's era and herbal teas are ok.

I have also found a quote from Victor L. Ludlow, a BYU religion professor who states:

“The Word of Wisdom counsels against drinking “hot drinks,” which have been identified by early Church leaders as coffee and tea. “Tea” refers to the standard tea derived from the tea plant, sometimes called black tea or green tea. The Word of Wisdom has not been interpreted as proscribing herbal teas, stating that “all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man (D&C 89:10)” (Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, p.434).

As it seems, there is some confusion among LDS members regarding this matter. This was what inspired me to post this blog.

I have been curious of the health benefits associated with Green Tea Extract but have decided to avoid it simply because it is produced from Camellia Sinensis. Until an official statement is made, I feel that tea is tea if it comes from the "tea plant". I am intersted in any facts, quotes, opinions, etc. on this subject.

Thanks,

Chris

For me, if something makes me doubt, I don't take it. So, regarding the tea, I only take herbal tea. Like that I'm sure that I don't break the Word of Wisdom. Apart of that, I don't take "black" or "green".

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Take the following for what it's worth. 

“The Word of Wisdom counsels against drinking “hot drinks,” which have been identified by early Church leaders as coffee and tea. “Tea” refers to the standard tea derived from the tea plant, sometimes called black tea or green tea. The Word of Wisdom has not been interpreted as proscribing herbal teas, stating that “all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man (D&C 89:10)” (Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, p.434).

Tea actually comes from a plant, and Green Tea comes from the same plant as Black Tea, the plant camellia sinensis. Black is simply fermented more than the Green. A like argument is that many people say Red wine has antioxidants in it that are healthy. But those exact same antioxidants can be found in other foods...or simply plain ol grape juice that hasn't been fermented. I recommend you pray about it. I have, and my answer was to not take tea into my body in any form.

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